Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is the spitting image of pure rock n’ roll. Chain smoking cigarettes, all black attire, leather jackets, motorcycles, booze, and an attitude of genuine independence. They continue to successfully fight and claw their way through modern music, holding onto an era that’s devoid of shameless commercialism and the mind-numbing repetition of today’s pop.
By some mysticism we mortals could never understand, BRMC has formed a sound all their own while fluctuating between the many genres that make up their home in rock n’ roll. From the comforting twang of small-town blues to the aggression of punk glory days to the feeling of a dark and endless ocean crashing at night to the brightest skyward-facing anthems, their songs continue to rumble with otherworldly magic, like the product of a leather-clad wizard practicing a strange form of rock alchemy.
Since releasing their debut album in 2001 after concocting their name from the 1953 Marlon Brando film The Wild One, BRMC has had nothing short of a tumultuous career. From the death of bassist Robert Levon Been’s father, while on tour to the severe brain surgery drummer Leah Shapiro underwent before recording their most recent release, it seems as if the full force of life has tried to hold them up at almost every turn. Their storied history is one of a journey to hell and back, of perpetually healing wounds, and ultimately of light triumphing over dark.
Thankfully their spirit survived, and our own Paul Bundy had the opportunity to man the camera one fateful night in February as Black Rebel’s motorcade rolled into Metro Music Hall with the surfy psych-garage sounds of Night Beats. The gritty, grainy film look perfectly captures their aesthetic as they finally have the chance to tour behind their latest release, Wrong Creatures; an album three years in the making. As their tour rolls on, so does the story of this ride-or-die trio, carrying on the spirit Brando portrayed on the screen; shaking fists at the establishment every chance they get.